How to Overcome Your Immunity to Change

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

Our immune system protects us from threats, and this is good. Over time, we can also develop emotional immunity and this can shape our behaviors in powerful ways. Emotional immunity can be protective or it can lock us in place.

During this deeply transformative time of widespread crisis, I feel called to offer complimentary health coaching support to anyone in need. If you would like to create your own Emotional Immunity to Change Map, please email me and we can set up a time to talk via Zoom. I will explain how this 3-session process works and you can decide if this is a right fit for you or someone you know. To learn more, keep reading.

Have you heard of the "fight, flight, freeze response"? When our minds become aware of a real or perceived threat, our mind and body respond immediately and most people respond in one of three ways: they fight, they flee, or they freeze in place. This is normal and healthy, especially when the threat is real.

What happens when the threat is not real, but perceived? And what happens when that perceived emotional threat isn't actually a threat? We react without thinking in order to protect ourselves. But what if, by reacting to protect yourself, you are actually locking yourself into patterns of behavior that limit you?

This is where the work of Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey come in; together they developed the Immunity to Change framework. This coaching tool is designed to help individuals make personal changes that are important to them, but have proven resistant to past thoughtful planning despite heartfelt intentions.

I learned how to use the Immunity to Change Mapping tool at the Institute of Coaching Conference in Boston in 2019. And I am excited to offer clients this experience via a 3-part process.

What Does This Coaching Process Look Like?

In session one, which lasts 30 minutes, I introduce you to health coaching and you share a bit about yourself. We discuss goals that are important to you and I help you decide which one goal is most important for the mapping exercise.

During session two, which lasts 45-60 minutes, I walk you through creating your own map.

In the third session, which lasts 30 minutes and takes place after 1-2 weeks of reflection and experimentation, we meet again to discuss your experience, revise your map if needed, and devise next steps.

Mapping your immunity to change is a surprising and powerful process and a great tool for someone who knows they want to change, but feels overwhelmed or discouraged. To learn more, please email Stephanie at

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